SARACENS centre Oli Morris and South African half-back Gareth Simpson are among five new players joining Worcester Warriors’ academy next season.

Morris, who can also play on the wing, makes the move from Saracens’ youth set-up this summer after helping Ampthill win the National One title while on a dual-registration deal.

The 19-year-old who stands at 5ft 10in and weighs 13st 10lbs made his Saracens debut in last season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup clash at Dragons - the first of two first-team appearances - and has represented England under 18s.

The Chelmsford-born back also qualifies to play for Ireland through his Irish grandmother and was selected by the nation for this year’s U20s Six Nations.

Warriors’ academy manager Chim Gale said: “Oli has played England age group rugby with Ted Hill, James Scott and Beck Cutting and has caused us a few problems when he has played against us.

“He’s played for Ampthill in National One this season so he’s already got experience of senior rugby at a good level and we are delighted that he will be joining us.”

Simpson, who can operate at scrum-half or fly-half, has paid his way to England to further his playing career after starring for Kwa-Zulu Natal in the Currie Cup.

As well as featuring for National Two North side Stourbridge, the 21-year-old who stands at 5ft 8in and weighs 13st has been training with Warriors’ first-team since December and impressed for Worcester Cavaliers in the Premiership Shield.

“Gareth has spent the second half of the season with us and at Stourbridge where he has performed well,” Gale said.

“He taken his opportunity and he will benefit from having a full pre-season with us.”

Warriors have also signed three prospects from this season’s under 18s side on academy contracts.

Full-back Noah Heward and loosehead prop Lewis Holsey, who study at Solihull School, and Worcester Sixth Form College back rower Morgan Monks will graduate to the senior academy at Sixways.

The five new signings will join current members Beck Cutting, Nick David, Tom Dodd, Alex Hearle, Callum Morris, Kai Owen, James Scott and Luke Scully.

Gale said: “Noah has good game understanding for someone his age, he’s an electric runner and he’ also strong defensively.

“Lewis has been unfortunate with injury this season but he has played for England Under-16s and Under-18s. He’s a powerful, dynamic and explosive loosehead prop.

“Morgan showed in the two Cavaliers matches he played against Northampton Wanderers and Wasps A last month what a good footballer he is. He is tall and strong but still growing.

“All will train as part of the first-team squad which will give them the opportunity to learn from more senior players, to develop their skills and to improve as rugby players and young men.

“With Ted, Will Butler, Ollie Lawrence, Joe Morris and Andrew Kitchener signing their first professional contracts this season, there is a clear pathway from the academy to the senior squad and the coaches are prepared to give the academy players opportunities.”